New building at Michigan Tech takes step forward

HOUGHTON — Michigan Technological University officials announced Friday that the state Legislature has granted planning authorization for Michigan Technological University’s H-STEM Engineering and Health Technologies Complex.

Part of the University’s five-year capital outlay plan and capital project request, the H-STEM Complex was approved by the Michigan Tech Board of Trustees in 2017. Phase 1 of the project is expected to cost $44.7 million, of which state funds would cover $29.7 million, with Michigan Tech contributing the remaining $15 million.

H-STEM stands for Health, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Phase 1 will include the renovation of 45,000 square feet of existing space in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Building and a 63,000-square-foot addition to the building. The renovated space will be classrooms and learning laboratories, while the addition will house flexible laboratory spaces.

According to Michigan Tech’s capital project request, it will be used by the university’s biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, materials science and engineering, biology, chemistry, cognitive and learning sciences, computer science, and kinesiology and integrative physiology departments. Also, the interdisciplinary Michigan Tech Life Science Technology Institute will be located in the H-STEM complex.

“I am very pleased that the Michigan Legislature has approved the H-STEM Engineering and Health Technologies Complex for planning authorization,” said Michigan Tech President Rick Koubek. “I would especially like to thank all those intimately involved in the project proposal. Without their vision and support we would not be able to make this important announcement today. Also, as a campus, we sincerely thank our state leaders for their ongoing support of Michigan Tech.”

With planning authorization from the state legislature, Michigan Tech can develop program statements and schematic planning documents for the H-STEM Complex.

Because the H-STEM Complex is a capital outlay project — meaning it will be funded at least in part by the State of Michigan — Michigan Tech must now complete a two-step process to obtain project approval. First, the University must submit its planning documents and program statements to the Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) for review and approval. If the DTMB approves the project for construction, the Michigan Legislature’s Joint Capital Outlay Subcommittee (JCOS) will then consider it for approval. If the JCOS approves, the legislature authorizes the project for final design and construction.

“As the Upper Peninsula’s major research university, Michigan Tech’s faculty and staff recently identified quality of life and health outcomes as a major component of our five-year growth plan,” Koubek said. “Now, thanks to the support of our state leaders, the H-STEM Complex will accelerate our efforts to create technological solutions to enhance health and quality of life, not only for our local communities, but for the entire state.”

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